The MTR Corporation has revealed that the far-end of the southbound platform at Tai Wai Station, and an overhead line mast nearby, have sunk by 20mm. Construction for a property development project nearby has thus been halted.

Work on the development began in early 2015, with foundations work starting in May 2016. Monitoring devices were set up by the developer New World.

The MTRC said that, in the early hours of Thursday, its Railway Protection Unit found that settlement at the platform had reached the the preset limit of 20mm, triggering a work suspension.

A platform at the Tai Wai station. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Qwer132477.

The MTRC then requested that the developer suspend foundation works at the relevant railway protection area.

It said the Buildings Department has inspected the platform and the overhead line mast, and confirmed their structural integrity.

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has reviewed the track measurement data, and confirmed that railway conditions remain unaffected by the works, and that the relevant track complies with safety standards.

The Buildings Department and the MTRC have requested that the Registered Building Professionals appointed by the developer provide solutions to alleviate the situation and reduce settlement.

The MTRC said construction work will only be resumed after it is certain that future works will not have any impact on the railway facilities and the safe operation of the railway.

The Tai Wai station property development site, February 2018. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Wpcpey.

On Wednesday, the government revealed that a platform at the Tin Wing Light Rail stop in Tin Shui Wai had sunk. Nearby housing construction work had to be suspended.

The Tai Wai case is the third such incident in recent weeks. The first one was revealed last month, where two supporting bridge columns near the West Rail Line’s Yuen Long station had sunk 20 millimetres over five years, causing construction of housing project nearby to be suspended.

Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan said she was concerned about the case as Tai Wai station was a relatively old and busy station.

She said she hoped the government, the developer, and the MTRC would conduct reviews over the safety of platforms to ensure future development works can continue safely.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat said the MTRC must ensure the safety of the station and relieve public concern.

Quat’s party colleague lawmaker Ben Chan said the MTRC has learned from past incidents and publicised the incident quickly. He said the MTRC should make remedial plans public as soon as possible.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.